Source: Opposition fears run-off violence repeat – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 4, 2018
THE MDC Alliance has expressed fears of a repeat of the 2008 presidential run-off election-related violence, if there is no outright winner in the first round of balloting in the upcoming harmonised polls.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
The country is set to hold elections between July and August, with MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is Zanu PF’s first secretary, seen as the leading contenders in the race for the Presidency.
Other contenders include People’s Rainbow Coalition (PRC) and National People’s Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru, Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa, leader of the breakaway MDC-T, Thokozani Khupe, and Harry Peter Wilson, the leader of the Democratic Opposition Party (DOP).
MDC Alliance spokesperson and MDC leader Welshman Ncube emphasised on the need for all opposition parties to unite to give Chamisa a “boxing knockout” victory to avoid a run-off poll, which he said might be marred by violence.
“We do not want a run-off election. I am sure we all know what happens during a run-off election. We do not want to hear anything about a run-off. To those who follow boxing, it must be a knockout victory for Chamisa and nothing else to avoid a run-off election,” he said in a recent MDC Alliance rally held in Avoca, Filabusi, in Matabeleland South.
Both Chamisa and Mnangagwa have predicted an outright victory in the upcoming elections.
Ncube added: “This MDC Alliance is very much important in that we are saying let us unite and add all our votes because removing Zanu PF from power, removing Zanu PF that is now shielded by soldiers, removing Zanu PF that sends soldiers to the rural areas to intimidate people is not easy. We need to encourage each other to unite and make sure that Chamisa gets a minimum 50%-plus-one votes.”
The last run-off election pitting former president and expelled Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe against the late MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai was characterised by violence and abduction of opposition supporters.
Tsvangirai had won the first round of balloting, by a narrow margin and could not be declared outright winner.
Over 200 opposition supporters were killed, several hundreds injured and displaced, resulting in Tsvangirai refusing to participate in the run-off poll.
Mugabe won uncontested, but his victory was condemned and he was forced to enter into a unity government with the MDC-T.